Nangshig: A Tibetan Bönpo Monastery and its Family in Amdo is a 146 page study of the largest Yungdrung Bön monastery in Tibet as well as the family and reincarnation lineages associated with it. The chapters are short, concise and dense with information. It is written by Tsering Thar from information gathered during his fieldwork in Amdo that he performed on behalf of the National Museum of Ethnology in Osaka, Japan.
In the eleventh century, Do Phak Yönten Gyaltsen, a.k.a. Do Phak Chenpo, established a hermitage in Eastern Tibet in a region now known as Amdo. In 1168, this hermitage was expanded by his oldest son, Nyima Dzin, into Nangzhig Monastery. For over two centuries, Bön was the only religion in the area and the entire population were followers of the Yungdrung Bön religious tradition.
This book touches on the subject of Nangzhig’s history as both a religious temple and a center for education, the associated reincarnation and family lineages, the ritual services that are regularly performed, and the hierarchy and succession systems of the monastery. Although not an exhaustive study, it is broad enough in its scope to provide a solid overview of one of the most important Yungdrung Bön monasteries that continues to thrive to the present day.
“Nangzhig monastery is the largest monastic university of the Bön religion in the Tibetan cultural area. monastic education was by far the prevalent educational system in Tibet, and this system produced the great masters and scholars in Tibetan history. Even today, it continues to play a very important role in Tibetan education, especially in maintaining traditional culture. Monastic education in the Bön religion is an important and influential part of Tibetan monastic education. Its lineal succession system and method of teaching also influenced Tibetan Buddhism.”
— Extract from Nangshig: A Tibetan Bönpo Monastery and its Family in Amdo
Published and distributed by Vajra Books.
For more about Nangzhig Monastery, see previous post: https://ravencypresswood.com/2019/05/18/nangzhig-largest-yungdrung-bon-monastery-in-tibet/
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